BEST FAN ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMME
DHL & Manchester United: A World United
When it comes to brand recognition, DHL and Manchester United are heavyweights. Manchester United has an unrivalled fanbase with over 1.1bn followers. However, very few supporters get to visit Old Trafford, the club’s spiritual home.
As Official Logistics Partner, DHL’s mission is to connect people and improve lives. In keeping with their promise DHL wanted to connect fans from around the world with the club they love, so if fans couldn’t attend Old Trafford, then DHL would deliver it to them. The brand created a virtual ‘Theatre of Dreams’ as a symbolic destination, designed to connect fans around the world and reward them for their dedication to the club with once-in-a-lifetime prizes. All fans needed to do was sign up to get a seat and every month a seat number was drawn with 9 prize draws in total.
‘A World United’ is a truly international campaign designed to engage fans outside of the club’s heartland. The first of its kind, the virtual ‘Theatre of Dreams’ was originally born out of COVID, but rooted in a wider fan insight. It is the power of this insight that has driven the campaign’s success and seen it live on year on year.
Formula 1 Williams Racing Grand Prix Autograph Series Sweepstakes
Virtual Tables worked in conjunction with Dorilton Motor Sports, the parent company of Formula 1 team, Williams Racing, to create a unique fan engagement experience designed to fill gaps in audience engagement and retention by capitalizing on traditional experiences integrated with modern digital technology. This activation involved using Virtual Tables’ digital autograph solution, DigiSign, at a number of Formula 1 races worldwide.
Removing geographical concerns and the need for a physical location to conduct a full-scale autograph session, DigiSign is able to replace an anonymous, rapid exchange with a dynamic, virtual experience that leaves fans with an authenticated digital signature during a highly exclusive interaction with their favorite talent.
Dorilton Motor Sports hosted a series of online 48-hour digital sweepstakes for fans to receive an exclusive 1×1 private autograph DigiSign session with one of their two drivers, Alex Albon or Nicholas Latifi.
This activation was extremely successful and left a few fortunate fans with a digital autograph and memory of a private interaction with their icon.The sweepstakes brought more than 11,000 sign-ups in four days, including more than 6,000 entries that were new to the team database, along with a high click through rate, consistently over 85%.
Hawk-Eye Innovations, The FA & UEFA – Hawk-Eye Innovations, The FA & UEFA
This year, UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 hosted a free national roadshow that showcased the best of football fitness and music providing families, fans and those who were yet to experience football with the opportunity to get involved in an unmissable tournament.
The Roadshow demonstrated the scale and importance of this summer’s event and was part of a wider drive to introduce new fans to the women’s game to create a lasting legacy for women’s football – a key focus for UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.
To support the roadshow, the FA rolled out a number of initiatives including a VAR fan activation alongside Hawk-Eye to amplify the growth of the women’s game through raising awareness around the officiating technology (VAR) which is being used throughout the women’s tournament.
Within the roadshow, fans were welcomed to a VAR area where they could experience first-hand what it’s like to be a video assistant referee. Hawk-Eye produced and executed a video experience for fans to interact with VAR technology to determine if they would have made the same choice the referees would have. The activation helped to promote a fundamental part of the officiating process within football as well as the women’s game.
As a long-standing pillar of LaLiga’s development strategy, digital transformation has played a vital role in bringing the passion of the Spanish football league, its clubs and superstars to a wider audience than ever before in recent years. This has a special relevance in terms of engaging with fans from all the world, that have changed its interests and consumption ways over the time, to where we are today, with a quick changing ecosystem that has never been seen before.
For this, is essential to keep not only improving in the platforms in which the Spanish football organisation and clubs have a strong presence, but also by innovating on the way that the audio-visual product is delivered to the different audiences. This implies adapting to the new generations’ interests, using quick changing platforms and innovating by combining existing resources.
And LaLiga achieve all that by implementing a content strategy that connects with fans around the world, adds value and generates interesting content that informs and entertains them. That way we gather knowledge about the fans regarding the content they like the most and methods for converting them into heavy LaLiga users.
Norwich City Football Club
What can be more meaningful than a campaign that potentially saves a life?
As a club, we took the bold approach of using the ‘hook’ of our much-anticipated reveal of our 2022/23 home kit to drive maximum awareness of the worrying rates of mental health and suicide.
An impactful launch video, voiced by Stephen Fry, was supported by interviews with subjects personally affected by suicide who so bravely shared their stories.
In one year alone, 518 people in East Anglia took their own life and data shows that the average age of our season ticket holders (49) is in the bracket of people most at risk. These data points were the driver for us to firstly increase awareness of this hugely important topic, but also to educate supporters on where to go should they need support with their mental health.
This was a campaign born out of a desire to use our platform for good. With over 750k organic views across our channels, the bold approach we took worked, and we were overwhelmed with messages of support from fans across the country, some who confirmed the campaign had prompted them to get the mental health support they so desperately needed.
The British & Irish Lions
Against a backdrop of political turmoil and the third wave of a global pandemic this was a Lions Series like no other.
Ordinarily a Lions Tour captures the imagination of the sporting world but with the Sea of Red unable to travel for the 2021 series due to Covid we set ourselves a challenge, ‘how can we bring supporters closer to the squad than ever before’? We placed fan engagement at the heart of everything we did.
The answer was to produce an immersive behind-the-scenes content series, called ‘The Ultimate Test’, that captured the key moments, the highs and lows as well as all the drama of a Lions Tour, played in the most difficult of circumstances.
The Lions are synonymous with sporting documentaries with the 1997 film Living the Lions setting a new benchmark for behind-the-scenes storytelling. For the first time ever we set ourselves a challenge of replicating that in ‘real time’.
UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 – The Football Association and Great Big Events
Working closely with the FA’s spectator services and local stadium teams, GBE’s world-class showcallers and producers provided a ground-breaking, end-to-end approach to the matchday experience, from the last kilometre approach to the stadium, through to pre-match ceremonies, kick-off and half-time activations.
The on-screen experience for spectators consisted of customised content for each match, including bespoke vision packages for each nation and their players, local pitchside hosts and community engagement programmes to leave a lasting legacy from the tournament. Screen content was delivered by GBE’s proprietary media server, PV4, a bespoke non-linear playback system designed for live events, which fully integrated with the host broadcaster and data feeds from the local VAR supplier.
By delivering all vision content, technical production, showcalling, ceremonies and spectator services under one contract, Great Big Events combined and re-imagined the traditional roles of a variety of UEFA subcontractors in to one, electrifying sport presentation and fan engagement solution. GBE’s fan engagement programme delivered a holistic spectator experience that truly immersed audiences in the atmosphere of a record-breaking tournament that changed the face of women’s football in the UK forever. Good times never seemed so good.
Wigan Athletic and Stadimax – #Believe
#Believe is an unprecendnted initiative in English football by Wigan Athletic Football Club, whereby supportser can directly influence teh strength of the Club’s ‘Football Operations’ through a monthly subscription called the #Believe FansFund. Fans choose directly where their subscription goes: i.e. First Team, Sports Science or Academy.
#Believe also enables non attending match day supporters to feel they are directly making a genuine difference to the team’s performance on and off the pitch.
#Believe delivers value to the entire fanbase, not just those that turn up week in and week out, but those who live locally and cannot attend, non-local domesic fans and overseas supporters.
As a result, Wigan has now further engaged with over 1,600 Believers (and growing) who are paying an average over £14 a month, every month.
#Believe is centrered around fans, with large supporter images placed throughout the stadium internally and externally alongisde Club Legends to signify Unity. #Believe underpins our supporter centric culture at the Club, with fan engagement and innovation at the heart of our operations. This has helped create a culture where there is an authentic relationship between players, staff and supporters.